One of Sydney's largest hospitals has called a "yellow emergency" as it struggles under the weight of growing COVID-19 cases in the city's west.
The Western Sydney Local Health District's executive team sent an email to staff on Tuesday indicating the change in settings at Westmead Hospital.
The email said the hospital was "standing up an emergency operations centre" to grapple with the increase in COVID-19 cases at the facility.
The hospital would immediately reduce ambulance arrivals for COVID-19 patients for a 24-hour period, seek to transfer several critical patients to other Sydney metropolitan hospitals and conduct urgent critical care reviews.
The LHD would also work with private hospitals to open up 100 more beds.
"We acknowledge that we are not longer operating in a business as usual environment and careful assessment and response is required to manage future demand for our services," the email, seen by AAP, says.
NSW Health data shows almost 4000 COVID-19 cases have been uncovered in the past four weeks in the Western Sydney LHD.
There are currently more than 600 people with COVID-19 in hospital in NSW and 107 in intensive care.
NSW Health says it currently manages about 500 intensive care beds but has a surge capacity of about 2000 when required. The government has repeatedly said the hospital system is coping with the increased workload.
Meanwhile, NSW has crashed through the 60 per cent one-shot vaccination rate and enjoyed a slight dip in daily cases.
But Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant has reminded the public "we are here for the long haul" while pressing vaccination equity so vulnerable communities are protected.
The state reported 753 new local COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, down on the three-day average of 824.
Most new cases remain in western and southwestern Sydney (516) while outbreaks in western NSW grew by 50 infections.
Dr Chant dismissed suggestions NSW may have seen the peak of its third wave.
"I'd love to believe that we are on the trend down. That would give me joy ... but one day is not a trend," she said.
Daily cases are still disproportionately among unvaccinated groups, including young people.
Parents and workers have also called for more transparency on childcare outbreaks after NSW Health told AAP 121 cases since June had been linked to centres.
NSW Health late on Tuesday confirmed a western Sydney woman, aged 30, had died at her home in Emerton, taking the toll for NSW's current outbreak to 75.
Attention on Tuesday turned to the relaxation of some restrictions for vaccinated people after the six millionth jab was administered.
About 60 per cent of residents aged 16 or older have had at least one shot, with 32 per cent now fully vaccinated.
Dr Chant said shots needed time to take effect and an impact on transmission wouldn't show up in daily case figures for two to three weeks.
Even with high rates, Dr Chant warned masks could be required in some environments for years to come.
"The world is grappling with how we co-exist with COVID and this virus may throw us curve balls. We have the Delta variant - God help us if we have another variant," Dr Chant said.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she was "deeply grateful" for increasingly vaccination rates and promised to restore some freedoms by week's end to the 2.1 million people who are fully vaccinated.
But she declined to detail what the changes could be, or how they'll be applied.
The premier later on Tuesday evening said Dr Chant was on board with the plan.
Business NSW chief executive Daniel Hunter suggested the government consider easing restrictions on outdoor dining or retail in specific areas.
The NSW economy is estimated to contract about 10 per cent in the September quarter.
Australian Associated Press
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